Rebecca Eifert, first-year teacher at Valley Lutheran High School, Saginaw, Mich. is LEA’s 2016 New Lutheran Secondary Educator.
Eifert graduated with a Bachelor of Music Ed with math minor from Concordia University Chicago. Present duties at Valley Lutheran include coaching volleyball, trombone ensemble, jazz band, percussion ensemble, and helping with theater productions.
Commenting in support of Eifert’s nomination, one administrator noted, “As a staff member, she is positive and forward-thinking. She participates in our faculty discussions about improving education. She demonstrates a joyful faith and is not hesitant to share that faith with students, parents, or staff. She jumps right in and contributes to all of school life, helping with extra-curriculars and leading a family group. Others respond to her delightful spirit well. I think she has the potential to be an educational leader of the group and I look forward to watching her continue to grow in faith and in ministry with her students.”
Eifert received this comment from a parent: “She relates well to me as a parent. That is a very remarkable thing for a young teacher. I have shared with her some concerns I have had about where my children are at and she has been able to address some of those concerns to benefit them. She is gifted in this area and Valley is truly blessed to have her as a part of the teaching staff. As a parent watching Miss Eifert, I am always taken aback that she has not been a teacher for very long. She is truly so very good at what she does.”
Eifert is active in the congregations involved with Valley. She reports, “I currently accompany the Adult Choir at Holy Cross Lutheran, and I play with the handbell choir at Good Shepherd Lutheran. I am substitute organist at Holy Cross, and I have also provided special music on occasion for their services. I play on a church league volleyball team with St. John’s, Amelith. In January, I will be volunteering on a show at Bay City Players, a local theatre, with their lighting and electrics crew. This coming summer I plan on auditioning for a community band and playing with them for their concerts.”
Of her greatest joy in teaching, Rebecca says, “My greatest joys as I work with my students are watching them finally become vulnerable. Music is a delicate balance of head and heart. I can teach the students to play all the notes correctly, I can lead them to the correct balance, I can correct rhythms, and I do all that on a daily basis! What I can’t teach, though, is the ability to open oneself and let the music be genuinely emotional. When the students finally figure that out for themselves, THAT’S when we are really creating music.”
Photos courtesy of Valley Lutheran High School